Tattoo design process

Bearing in mind that we only charge for time spent tattooing, here is an example of the lengths which we are prepared to go to when preparing the best possible tattoo design for our clients.

Denise wanted to celebrate her individuality, femininity and sense of self. Having done a little research into the meaning of her name she found that it had Greek and Latin origins from Dionysius, the pagan god of wine and that her name means, “to be devoted to Bacchus”. However, being a lifelong Catholic, an element showing a devotion to Christ was also necessary and fittingly enough, a perfect metaphor. We settled on the motif of an ornate chalice overflowing with wine/blood wrapped with trailing ivy and a long drip perhaps forming a stocking seam.

After a few sketches and experimenting with placement we soon abandoned the stocking seam idea in favour of the hip and thigh area. I decided that the best way to get the lighting and composition spot on was to build a model of the design.

I found a perfect old wine glass in a charity shop, sprayed it silver and glued amber coloured rhinestones to it. After mixing a red wine/blood red coloured acrylic paint I ran this down the sides of the chalice to make it look like it was overflowing.

With the placement and composition of the final tattoo in mind some foraged ivy was held in place and the whole thing photographed several times from different angles. A favourite image was selected from a few front runners by Denise.

I pushed the colour and contrast using Photoshop and finished the photo to a level which, with a little tweaking could be used to create a workable outline.

Once approved by Denise the initial black and colour outlines were applied in the first session and allowed to heal fully before starting the colour which was completed in two subsequent sessions.